Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wasting Time

I often get reminders of how drugs can devastate lives. And another one came this week.

When I returned from vacation I had messages waiting. And one was from an addict I met when I first entered a Mesa halfway house in 1991.

The message said that he was out of prison and wanted to hear from me. I called and left a message. I haven't heard back.

His story reminds me of how we can burn through the years if we don't get into recovery.

Since I met him in 1991 he's mostly been in prison. He'll be out for a few months, then pick up a new drug or theft charge. The judge sends him back for a few years. Then it happens again. I don't think he's been out for two years of the past 24. Almost half his life locked up.

And the sad thing is that he knows as much about recovery as anyone. He's attended meetings over the years. He's bright and personable. Speaks well, makes friends easily.

Everything he presents to the world says this is a successful person. Yet, that all goes away when he picks up drugs or alcohol.

If he calls back I'll encourage him to work a program and hopefully avoid another trip to prison.